Guidelines for Tutors and Students Requesting a Tutor

Setting up the tutor-tutee relationship

Tutors: Be clear with your tutee about what s/he wants to get out of your tutoring sessions. Make sure you agree on a schedule, and can meet her/his needs.

Come to an understanding about the practical dimensions of your tutoring relationship. At the first session, do the following:

  • Define the number of hours. Generally, it should be 1-2 hours/week. More than 2 hours requires approval the coordinator of the tutoring program.
  • Define the general meeting schedule.
  • Clarify the best contact information for both of you.
Guidelines and expectations (Tutor and Tutee)

Be on time for every session. If you must cancel a session, give as much advance notice as possible (preferably 24 hours).


  • Practice good listening skills. It may be useful to rephrase the tutee’s questions, to ensure that you understand the main point and to give the tutee the opportunity to elaborate on it.
  • Be careful not to step outside your area of expertise. When in doubt, ask the professor. Don’t make up an answer if you don’t know it.
  • Help your tutee understand the concepts behind a problem, or the process of solving it, rather than solving it directly for her/him.
  • If your tutee seems to be experiencing a problem which you feel is not covered by the kind of course content instruction you can provide, please refer her/him to the appropriate class dean.
  • If you or your tutee feel the arrangement is not working, either of you can contact the coordinator for reassignment.


  • Do not expect your tutor to do your homework. Your tutor will help you understand the concepts behind a problem, or the process of solving it, but s/he will not solve it directly for you.
  • Having a tutor is a supplement to other class resources. It is not a substitute for attending class, TA sessions, and/or the professor’s drop-in hours.
  • As a result of meeting with a tutor, you should expect to work hard, to improve your skills and understanding of class material, and to improve your comfort level with class material
  • You should not expect:
    • A homework solving session – come prepared!
    • An answer to everything in the class.
    • A sudden improvement in your GPA.

If you are experiencing problems that your tutor is unable to address, please see your class dean.